Thirty-two Japanese Nobles Burned Alive for the Faith

November 26, 2020

In the year 1625, the governor of Cubota condemned to the fire thirty-two Christian nobles, of whom nine were women; for them this was a great subject of rejoicing.

In consideration of their rank, it was the intention to lead them to execution without tying them; but in order to bear greater resemblance to their divine Master, they entreated the executioners so earnestly, that the latter consented to tie them all, except the women and a boy thirteen years old, named Thomas.

The martyrs moved onward in procession with a joyous and recollected air. Thomas walked at the head, holding in his hand the book of litanies; his exterior was so amiable and he appeared so cheerful that one could not look at him without being moved. He began the litany, and the rest responded.

They journeyed a distance of two leagues. Having arrived at the place of execution, each one was fastened to his stake, and the wood was at once set on fire. They all died holding their eyes fixed on heaven, and while often repeating, “Have mercy on us, O Lord! Have mercy on us!”

Witnesses have testified that during the night a brilliant light was seen over the bodies of these martyrs, and that the inhabitants of Mina ascended the roofs of their houses to contemplate this prodigy, which on the third night was observed by more than three hundred persons.

Rev. Eugene Grimm, ed. Victories of the Martyrs, vol. 9, The Complete Works of Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri (New York: Benzinger Brothers, 1888), 397.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 754


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